Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Top 10: The Forty-Niners

Now, I've never actually read Alan Moore's series Top 10 from ABC Comics. However, I don't think there's actually been anything by Alan Moore that I haven't liked, so I, of course, had to give this a shot since people were talking about it with such fervor. Being completely ignorant of the world of Top 10, I went into this with little information and a little apprehension, since I thought that I may be overwhelmed with things from the series and I wouldn't be able to follow it on its own. That wasn't the case however, as this serves as a prequel to the Top 10 series, coming right of World War II, when the superhumans and monsters that were employed by the USA to fight the war were all led into this newly-constructed city, Neopolis. Of course, being a city populated solely by superheros and monsters, things get a little out of hand, as there is a lot of resistance to traditional policing. This story follows two new arrivals to Neopolis, who ride the train into the city together, but ultimately, each have their own separate stories that are told in this novel: Jetlad and Sky Witch. Now, I'm not sure if these characters appear in the actual series Top 10, but I have a sneaking suspicion that they do, and that there were many moments created primarily for followers of that series. It worked perfectly on its own, though, filled with mad Nazi scientists and racial tensions between the superhumans, monsters and machines. I particularly liked Sky Witch's story in this book, and loved the christian superhero, Maiden, who is obviously supposed to be Joan of Arc. This novel feels like a classic story, although it's filled with plenty of original concepts. It just sort of resonates with this breathtaking feeling that it evokes, part of which is due to Gene Ha's beautiful art, no doubt, giving the book a finished, painted look. If you've ever wanted to try Alan Moore's ABC line before and didn't know where to start, I definitely recommend this is a starting point. I guarantee, you won't be disappointed.

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